A Glorious Competitive Dance Season is Underway


Mary Kate Loichinger

On November 20, 2020, competitive dance, along with every other winter sport in the state of Illinois, was notified to “pause” practices and events following a rise in COVID-19 cases in the state. At the time, the Lincoln-Way West Dance Team had only had five practices before abruptly ordered to stop and prepare for the entire school to transition back to remote learning. No one could have imagined that we would return over two months later, around the time when the normal season typically ends.

On January 21, 2021, Illinois moved into tier 1 mitigations, and athletes were sent calendars for a restart to the winter season. After a brief informational meeting, it was clear that the dance season would look a little bit different, and everyone would have to make some form of sacrifice. Over the off-season many girls returned to or obtained jobs and planned for a small or less intense season if we were to have one at all. We started practicing the Monday after the announcement was released, equipped with masks, socially distanced, and prepared to learn quickly for a shortened season. Though competitions will be held virtually this year, and we can not include our infamous group stunts and lifts in our routine, the dance team is committed to making the most of the season. All members are working hard to regain strength and stamina lost over the break, learn individual tricks, and make room in their busy schedules to accommodate the sport we all love so much.

The dance team’s competition song, “Glorious,” begins with the phrase “You know I’m back like I never left,” a phrase that summarizes the 2020-2021 dance team outlook. This season will prove to be difficult and unique; however, every individual and the entire program will be stronger because of it. This year is about adaptability and the dance team has established that, despite all of the challenges, we are ready to start our journey to the 2021 state competition. Backed by supportive, understanding, and dedicated coaches, Coach Justine and Coach DiNaso, the dance team is working hard to maintain their state renowned status and also have fun. We can not wait to watch the rest of the season unfold and continue to watch dance as a sport evolve when presented when adverse circumstances.